How PIH is Addressing Coronavirus
PIH teams are currently working to minimize the potential impact of global health emergencies where we work, and to strengthen systems in the long term, the best defense in a public heath crisis.
PIH Statement on Coronavirus
Partners In Health acknowledges the World Health Organization’s declaration that the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
PIH teams are currently working with the governments and communities of the countries where we work to strengthen our ability to minimize the impact of the global health emergency of Coronavirus and to strengthen systems in the long term.
While PIH’s Leadership Council agrees that it is important to identify threats to the public health, our work with communities and governments of 11 countries around the world with the prevention, care, and treatment of many infectious diseases (including Ebola, HIV, TB, cholera, and Zika) has taught us that the provision of care as a human right is the most important aspect of infection control.
People will come forward for screening efforts if they believe they will be treated humanely. To do that, strong health systems are necessary. Our work in the prevention, control, and treatment of infectious diseases is guided by several key principles:
- 1) Engagement of the community—paid, trained and coordinated community health workers are vital to health education, case detection and linking people to care,
- 2) Support of the public provision of care and the strengthening of national, district and local response is necessary to improve the supply chain and to assure adequate human resources. PIH works tirelessly to support the public system because it knows that the public sector’s ability to respond to health threats is tied to the strength of its local health systems,
- 3) The provision of care for all diseases is a critical way of building trust in the system. Vertical efforts fail because they do not address the broad health needs of the population.
February 13 Update from Dr. Patrick Ulysse, COO
As the Chief Operations Officer of Partners In Health, I am leading our preparations for the emerging coronavirus. I’ll make sure you stay informed as the response continues.
Here’s what is going on right now: Each of our country teams has started to coordinate preparations, and those teams most at risk of seeing transmission have been collaborating with local ministries of health and the World Health Organization. At this time, preparations include:
- Preparing isolation wards
- Establishing PIH clinics as potential reference facilities
- Identifying and quantifying supplies needed
- Ensuring a resilient supply chain
Viruses like this one hit impoverished countries hardest. I’ve seen it firsthand. Weak public health systems, which are the legacies of injustices dating back to colonialism, are especially vulnerable to epidemics like this coronavirus.
We know how to respond—with investments in local systems, the best of modern medicine, and equitable health care—these are the best tool for pandemic preparedness and response. We will continue to follow up with more details about our response. In the meantime, you can support our preparations for coronavirus and beyond with a monthly gift.
Thank you, as always, for your support.
Dr. Patrick Ulysse
Chief Operations Officer Partners In Health